It’s Thanksgiving once again, the day when we pause to express thanks for the people and things that we generally take for granted the other 364 days of the year. But it’s also a holiday that celebrates resourcefulness and cooperation, harking back to that grade school parable about the pilgrims and the Native Americans pooling their resources to enjoy a copious and varied harvest season feast. I bet they even composted the scraps.
That same pragmatism and cooperative spirit will serve us well as we attempt to boost waste diversion rates across the continent. No one piece of legislation, technological innovation or corporate initiative is going to solve our waste disposal problems. Rather, we will benefit most from a range of ideas being brought to the table. As columnist Chaz Miller asserts in this month’s Circular File, “A variety of approaches will be more effective at increasing recycling and lowering costs than a one-size-fits-all tactic.”
Fittingly, this month’s issue highlights three varied approaches to increasing recycling and diverting waste from landfills. In our cover story, “Composting with a View,” News Editor Allan Gerlat profiles the unique public/private partnership that has enabled Yosemite National Park to implement a comprehensive composting program, diverting most of the food served in the park, as well as the containers it is served in. Next, New Mexico Recycling Coalition director English Bird details “A Rural Recycling Revolution,” as that state uses a “hub-and-spoke” model to extend recycling services to sparsely populated areas that have not previously had access to them. Finally, in “Green Grades,” Willma Bureau of the County of Simcoe, Ontario, relates how the county worked closely with local schools to not only educate students about recycling, but also have them put that education into daily practice, resulting in record diversion totals.
I hope you will be inspired by these unique approaches to sustainability and will consider sharing some of your own with us. As always, you can contact me at [email protected].
The Waste Age staff wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving, and asks that you please recycle the cranberry sauce can.